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Trying to Limit the Trips to the Store? Choose these Delicious Staples

Published on Mar 19, 2020

Bartow, Fla. (March 19, 2020) — Want to limit your trips to the grocery store and still get the nutrients you need? According to UF/IFAS Extension Polk County here are some tips: 

Use beans or lentils.  Whether they are canned or dried, they are full of protein and fiber to help you feel full and last a long time on the shelf. They can be made into burgers, tacos, chili, mixed with pasta, or mashed into a dip.

Be choosy with fresh.  Some vegetables, such as cabbage, whole carrots, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and celery can last a long time if stored properly. Keep potatoes and onions out of the fridge.  Fruits like oranges and apples have a long shelf life when refrigerated. 

Get canned and frozen fruits and vegetables to fill in the gaps. Frozen vegetables, such as broccoli or cauliflower and fresh tomatoes, green beans, corn, peas, and jarred tomato sauce.  Frozen fruits are great options, or buy fresh ones such as strawberries and grapes to freeze for smoothies or cold treats.  If you buy canned fruits, rinse them first to reduce the sugar.

Shelf stable milk.  Sometimes found in the cereal aisle, shelf stable milks offer a great option. Nonfat dry milk is also an option although you may find the flavor quite different than fresh. 

Nut butter and nuts and seeds.  Peanut butter and other nut butters, nuts, and seeds have healthy fats, fiber, and protein.  These are great for snacking.

Eggs, canned fish and chicken.  According to the FDA, eggs last about 3 to 5 weeks in the fridge so they are a great option for a complete protein at a low cost. Canned salmon, tuna, sardines and chicken also can be kept on hand. If you have freezer room, choose skinless chicken breasts, fish and other lean meats. Divide meat into usable portions so they are ready to pull out for meals.

Whole grain pastas or grains. Consider brown rice, quinoa and farro.  Whole grains are filled with B vitamins and fiber and help lower your risk of heart disease and are ready to cook when you need them without spoiling.  You can also buy bread and freeze it or choose whole wheat or corn tortillas. Tortillas also tend to last a long time, especially in the fridge, and work for tacos, wraps, or a thin-crust pizza craving.